The Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers speed and intelligence at the access, distribution, and backbone levels of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range from small businesses and branch offices to multi-campus enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide remote and onsite expertise with Catalyst switches to assist you to design an efficient network topology that meets your unique business requirements, set up pilot testing systems, install Catalyst switches, implement and validate a sensible security plan, streamline system management and performance tracking, deliver repair and maintenance services, maximize switch capacity, and configure Catalyst's high-availability (HA) solutions to achieve non-stop operation,
Progent can assist you to maintain and troubleshoot your legacy Catalyst switches or upgrade seamlessly to the latest versions of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you receive the highest return from your investment in your IT infrastructure.
The demand for intelligent, high-speed switching is the result 0f a confluence of relatively new networking trends whose overall impact is a virtual tsunami of data:
- Cloud computing and a consequent demand for intensive network virtualization
- The proliferation of always-connected mobile devices
- Data guzzling HD video apps
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in enterprise analytics
Cloud computing is only operationally realistic because of virtualization technology. Virtualized infrastructures radically reduce expenses by permitting aggressively high resource utilization and requiring minimal real estate and power consumption. However this also requires that comparatively sparse resources have to support large volumes of data traffic. The BYOD revolution has resulted in a dramatic rise in the number of mobile clients that must be handled by business networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of data-intensive, HD video applications. Social business applications are displacing traditional email as the primary driver for collaboration and is producing a growing demand for data. Enterprises who want to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data techniques to search through enormous and disparate silos of corporate data, which in turn generates Big Network Traffic. These trends are fairly new, and put together they cause a serious demand for a new class of switches that feature much more throughput, intelligence, availability and manageability than older platforms were built to deliver.
Cisco's latest lineup of Catalyst switches are best suited for the distribution/core levels of enterprise campus environments where office workers must be provided for by offering consistent high throughput, secure user access control, careful segmentation, application awareness, and wired and wireless convergence. Catalyst series switches address the need for speed and intelligence with features that include high-port-count 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet support, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps per chassis and double that per system, an extensive catalog of technologies such as Easy Virtual Network to facilitate the creation of virtual networks, VSS technology for switch failover with instant backup switch restoration and "five nines" (99.999%) uptime, IPv4 and IPv6 capability, AVC to maximize system resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service capabilities for video data control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Organizations of Any Size
Cisco Catalyst switches enable businesses of all sizes to benefit from incorporating smart switching services into their network architecture, deploying an ecosystem that can handle real-time needs, expand to accommodate expected capacity demands, guard sensitive data, and differentiate and manage tasks to enhance network productivity.
Catalyst 2960 Swiches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-configuration switch that is compact, fanless, power efficient, and allows flexible mounting options. The device has eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports and optionally provides Power over Ethernet (PoE). Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-configuration managed switch housed in a sleek, quiet and low-power enclosure that can be placed almost anywhere convenient. Versions are available with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with six 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two multigigabit Ethernet ports. Two or four uplink ports are available, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L family includes value-priced fixed-port managed switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is at a premium. These low-profile switches include eight to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and either 2 or 4 SFP uplink ports. PoE support reduces clutter and fan-free operation for the 8- models does away with noise. RJ-45 interfaces accommodate 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and Catalyst 2960-XR switches enhance the 2690-S line by delivering switching capacity as high as 216 Gbps and providing Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable module that allows 8 Catalyst switches in a stack with 80 Gbps of stacking throughput. Catalyst 2900 family switches also support NetFlow-Lite for conserving forwarding data for analysis. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having a single switch for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed, stackable network access devices powered by Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless controller capability that allows you to control wired and wireless infrastructure on a single platform powered by one OS. Cisco has versions with 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE plus, four 1GE or four 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and capacity for as many as nine switches per FlexStack stack. All versions offer modular QoS, fast failover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast routing, and advanced security features.
Because wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, administrators can identify and assign priorities to wireless traffic with Cisco's Flexible NetFlow technology along with advanced Quality of Service features for an improved user experience and faster problem mediation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching supports the high-bandwidth called for by the new 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard using currently in-place cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology, and Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Support for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Catalyst 3650 offers stacking throughput of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless APs and 1000 Wi-Fi users per stack. The Cisco Catalyst 3850 delivers stacking bandwidth of up to 480 Gbps and can control up to 50 wireless access points and 2000 wireless clients per stack. Cisco Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber connections at line rate, providing long distance connections, enhanced security, and an identical wired/wireless user experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus access and distribution environments where space for infrastructure equipment is limited. Running Cisco's IOS XE control software, both the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X product lines simplify network virtualization thanks to Cisco's Easy Virtual Network and VSS solutions. Virtualization makes it possible to divide a hardware network into a number of virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the economy, security and compliance, resilience, and simplified management required for Cloud computing or other situations where a common infrastructure must be shared by applications and services that need to run in complete privacy from each other. EVN speeds up the task of creating VNs and can be expanded to 32 VNs per switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates features of Multi-VRF and adds new features including VNET Trunks and a simple technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. VSS makes it possible to configure Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce zero-downtime VNs with advanced load balancing.
Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch has a built-in wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access technology for wired and wireless convergence. this is the initial Cisco Catalyst supervisor to allow wired as well as wireless services on one platform powered by IOS XE. Features include Cisco's FNF solution for capacity planning encompassing both wired and Wi-Fi networks, Cisco TrustSec/SGT2 wired/wireless data security, predictable Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi networks, plus the extension of NSF/SSO to include Wi-Fi traffic for enterprise-class availability.
Available in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can handle up to 384 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet non-blocking fiber connections, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks. Cisco's Supervisor Engine 8-E provides as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and as much as 20 Gbps of wireless termination capacity. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 wireless clients can be supported on each chassis, and up to 250 APs and 4000 wireless users are supported in a multi-switch deployment without requiring a separate wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can provide up to 800 Gbps of backplane switching capacity per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X supports as many as 32 10GE connections on the baseboard and eight extra 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplink ports are available via a separate module. In addition to providing non-stop operation and simple management, Cisco's virtual switching system solution on Catalyst 4500-X switches provides increased system performance of as much as 1.6 Tbps by activating all possible capacity across VSS-linked Catalyst 4500-X switches. Other advanced features include FNF technology for application visibility, TrustSec security, and wire-rate IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches are campus backbone platforms that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 line of switches, which first appeared over a decade ago and which have been continually improved ever since. Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same general features and operational consistency, and the modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL accepts the Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and modules. This backwards compatibility and commitment to continual enhancement protects your infrastructure expenditures and permits you to update your network backbone with minimal downtime or IT staff training.
Shared features of Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches that have the Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, single-point control to ensure unvarying policy across a distributed network, Virtual Switching System capability for 99.999% availability through multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's LISP protocol to support roaming and mobility and to streamline virtualization and transition to IPv6. Additional virtual networking features to partition distinct user groups and serve the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy needs of every group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VRF-aware applications for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnel Protection, and L2 extensions with VPLS. For unified wired and wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports 1000 wireless access points and 15,000 wireless clients.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Switches
The Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are designed for distribution and enterprise core environments that need world-class uptime and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, or 10 and 40 GE ports. Models include three to 13 slots and accept a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, traffic analysis, and security and compliance. Just E-Series versions of Cisco's broad family of Catalyst 6500 switches are compatible with the Supervisor Engine 2T.
The entry-level Catalyst 6503-E has a 4 rack unit (4RU) chassis, holds 3 slots, and delivers 180 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot. The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E supports 97 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40GE ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19RU, 13-slot chassis and can deliver as much as 180 Gbps of performance on each slot, providing a total system capacity as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configuration can support 8 Tbps of switching bandwidth. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch can support up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 534 1GE fiber ports, 180 10GE access ports, and up to 44 40GE connections.
Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable backbone platforms intended to deliver optimal 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact switch for high-density Ethernet designed for small or midsize campus cores. The 6880-X supports up to 2 Tbps capacity and includes four slots for plug-in port cards. The top port density per chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports or 10GE ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections. With VSS, these switches can deliver 4 Tbps performance and support up to 158 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections.
The modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit form factor that has 7 slots and accepts standard Supervisor Engine 2T line cards and modules. (Two of the slots are reserved for the Supervisor Engine and the other five are for modules.) The Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching performance per slot and 11.4 Tbps of switching performance while supporting up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 80 10GE connections or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. an 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System is capable of supporting 22.8 Tbps of switching throughput, 480 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or Gigabit Ethernet fiber ports, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or 40 40GE connections.
Legacy Catalyst Products Still Supported by Progent
Progent's Cisco certified network consultants have extensive experience providing remote and onsite consulting and troubleshooting services for legacy Catalyst Series switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life (EOL). These outdated Catalyst switches usually cost more to manage and support than contemporary products, deliver lower capacity and fewer features, and in many cases can subject businesses to regulatory compliance and even liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to help you to manage and troubleshoot these older switches and can in addition assist you to design and execute seamless upgrades to newer models from the Catalyst family or to devices from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Cisco Catalyst switches supported by Progent include:
Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line
The Catalyst Express 500 line of managed Ethernet switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 employees and deliver the reliability, protection, scalability, and feature set small companies require at an affordable price. Power over Ethernet capability makes it simple to add network appliances like VoIP phones and closed-circuit cameras.
Models of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 switches support up to 24 10/100/1000BT ports plus the option of backup power with automatic fail-over for extra dependability. Interoperation with Cisco access points helps organizations to set up a local wireless network rapidly and effectively. The Cisco Catalyst Express 500 family offers solid security against malicious attacks thanks to Cisco's Self-Defending Network strategy and Clean Access agents.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed Ethernet switches provide fundamental workgroup networking for small to midsize companies. These wire-rate desktop switches deliver IOS Software features for basic mixed-media traffic services at the edge of the network. The Cisco 2940 family of managed switches are compact, entry-level switches with 8 Ethernet connections and one built-in Fast Ethernet or Gigabit uplink. The enclosures can be deployed outside the wiring closet in space-constrained locations such as on a user's desk or in a conference room.
Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed switches intended for small businesses and branches. Available versions incorporate either 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and deliver switching capacity of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack technology allows four 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to act as a single switch that provides 40 Gbps of stacking bandwidth and that reduces operational costs with single-switch setup. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security technology protects against IPv6 address interception and malicious threats.
Cisco Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
Cisco’s Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of non-modular switches that features IEEE 802.3af and Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability in 10/100 and 10/100/1000 Ethernet configurations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 Series switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for small enterprise LAN connectivity or branch-offices, combining both Gigabit and PoE options for high productivity while facilitating the installation of key applications such a IP telephony, Wi-Fi, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate network-wide intelligent features including QoS, rate management, access control lists (ACLs), multicast management, and fast IP routing while maintaining the simplicity of conventional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 Series offers a powerful array of capabilities that permit network expandability and higher availability through IP routing plus a complete complement of STP enhancements aimed to maximize availability in an access Layer network. Enhancements to the standard Spanning Tree Protocol, including PVST+, and Uplink Fast, as well as enhancements such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network uptime. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+) allows for Layer 2 load sharing on backup links to take advantage of the additional capacity inherent in a redundant architecture.
Efficient technologies such as OPSF, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Border Gateway Protocol, and static routing increase system scale; Protocol Independent Multicast improves resource utilization; and Virtual Route Forwarding Lite (VRFLite) protects data.
Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches
For mid-size businesses and enterprise branches, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series switch eases integration of unified technologies and accommodates evolving competitive needs by providing configuration flexibility, support for converged network patterns, and automatic set up of intelligent network functions. In addition, Cisco's Catalyst 3750 Series switch is engineered for high-volume Gigabit Ethernet environments and includes a wide range of switches that meet the access, aggregation, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or mid-size deployments.
Cisco's Catalyst 3750 switch includes the IP Base image or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading QoS, rate-management, access control lists (ACLs), and simple static and RIP routing capability. The IP Services image provides a broader set of high-end features, including sophisticated hardware-based IP unicast/multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is designed to react to installs, deletions, and relocations while providing predictable performance. Cisco StackWise unites as many as nine individual switches into a single logical unit, utilizing custom stack-interconnect cables and stacking software. Any of the switches can be any combination of the Catalyst 3750 Series switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series switches. The stack operates as an individual switching unit that is managed by a control switch, elected from among the member switches. The master switch intelligently creates and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A deployed stack can accept new devices or delete existing devices with no operational interruption.
Ways That Progent Can Assist You with Cisco Catalyst Series Switches
Progent can provide the remote or on-premises expertise of Cisco CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive experience delivering Catalyst switch technology support for small and medium sized businesses, branch offices, campuses, data centers, Cloud environments, and SPs. Progent's areas of expertise include Catalyst and Nexus families of managed switches and Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Services available from Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst switches include proof-of-concept testing and validation, network analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired/wireless unification, management automation, capacity planning, troubleshooting, disaster recovery planning, and information security and compliance testing and validation.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad expertise with industry standards as well as with proprietary Cisco protocols related to switching and routing such as Border Gateway Protocol, MPLS, PIM, VPNs, STP, virtual LANs, FabricPath, Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP), VRRP, OSPF, VSS, and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's infrastructure consultants also have deep knowledge of important networking technologies including TCP/IP protocols, IPv4/IPv6, EIGRP, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol. Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can assist you to create an enterprise-wide security and compliance strategy and deploy Catalyst switches so they offer optimal enforcement to your network security policies.
In case you require ultra high Ethernet density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, design, and implement a transition to Cisco's Nexus Series switches. For information about Progent's consulting capabilities for Cisco's Nexus Series switches, refer to Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also help you to integrate Catalyst data center switches with Cisco Meraki aggregation switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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